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Orlando Area Outlets
judge a book by it's cover" so says the old adage, but when it comes to
creating a scrapbook, the cover does say a lot about what's inside. Themed
scrapbooking albums give the perfect final touch to a scrapbooking project
that includes your personal photographs and other momentos.
This is the Everyday Mickey 12" x 12" Album, by EK Success.
©EK Success, 2008.
albums are the single most expensive part of a scrapbooking project. The
album also plays a big role in making a good first impression for people
that are enjoying your memory book. Today we'll talk about the core of
your project, the album. We'll start by sharing some thoughts on the basic
purpose of a scrapbook album, then we'll review album sizes, styles, and
themes. We'll also consider best practices for using scrapbook albums
as we wrap up.
of an Album
There are two
major purposes for a scrapbooking album. First, the album provides an
aesthetic quality to your finished project. Keeping your scrapbooking
pages in nicely designed albums makes them look nicer as they sit on the
book shelf or on the coffee table. Second, and this is really much more
important, the album should provide a safe storage place for those pages.
be said about the appearance of a scrapbooking album. Many albums are
surfaced with lovely fabric, leather, and other fine materials. Some albums
are embellished with embossing, glitter, embroidery, and other design
flourishes that really dress up the album. For a scrapbooking project
in which the pages all relate to a specific vacation destination, sport,
or event, a themed album may be the perfect solution.
archival qualities of an album should be the highest priority when selecting
an album. The albums that are sold at local scrapbooking stores and that
are made by reputable scrapbooking manufacturers are certain to be lignin-
and acid- free (lignin is a compound that is often present in paper products
that tends to break down into acidic components that can cause damage).
That is the kind of album you want to use!
albums and even simple plastic-sleeve photo albums are much more safe
for photographs and momentoes than the older "magnetic" albums that were
popular just a few years ago. Those "magnetic" albums included pages made
from thick cardboard that included glue strips and a clear Mylar plastic
covering. You could add photos and other items to the page by simply pealing
back the plastic page cover, placing your items on the stick page, and
returning the cover. Unfortunately, the cardboard pages and the glue that
was used to manufacture those album pages had a very high acidity. The
result is that many photographs, newspaper clippings, and other important
items have been damaged just because the album wasn't designed properly
to protect those momentos. (Incidentally, if you need to move your precious
photos and other items from a magnetic-style album there are several archival-safe
adhesive removers and acid-buffers on the market that you can use to remove
any residue and ensure that the damage done by acidic compounds is arrested.)
albums are available in many shapes and sizes, but two sizes are the most
widely popular and available: 8" x 8" and 12" x 12" sizes. The vast majority
of available off-the-shelf scrapbooking products, such as papers, page
overlays, and so on, are for those two most common sizes. Smaller albums,
6" x 6" for instance, are also available and are often used for gift projects.
8 1/2" x 11" scrapbooking albums were very popular five or ten years ago
and are still available in stores, but are much less popular now than
the 8" x 8" and 12" x 12" sizes.
This is the A Day at the Beach 8" x 8" Album, by EK Success.
©EK Success, 2008.
recommend that you use 12" x 12" albums for personal projects simply because
it makes sense to have the additional space that is available in a larger
album when you have a lot of photographs and other items that you wish
to include. 8" x 8" albums are fantastic for gifts and for more narrowly-focused
special event projects because they are smaller and can include fewer
photographs yet still have a beautiful, elegant appearance. However, that's
certainly not a hard and fast rule. We know scrapbookers that use both
album sizes for all kinds of projects and are happy to do so.
of album binding dominate the scrapbooking market. They are: pre-bound,
three-ring, post-bound, and strap-hinge bound. Each of these has advantages
spiral-bound) albums are basically pre-bound books with blank pages of
paper or with blank plastic pockets designed to receive standard-sized
scrapbooking pages. (If you choose to use a pre-bound album with paper
pages, we urge you to take great care to ensure that the album is archival-safe!)
Be sure a pre-bound album has enough pages for your project as these are
usually not expandable.
(usually "D-ring") binders are like the ones you used in school, but are
generally more sturdy and usually more attractive than the binders of
old. They include a simple mechanical clamping device that can be opened
and closed. If your album has large D-shaped rings you can include many
pages but those pages will still lie flat while you're browsing through
the album. The biggest advantage of a three-ring album is that the album
can hold a very large number of completed pages. Also, the simple ring
mechanism allows you to very easily rearrange your pages. The total capacity,
in terms of the number of pages that the album can safely bind, of a three-ring
album is dependent on the size of the rings. The greatest drawback of
using three-ring binders for scrapbook albums is that adjacent pages are
separated by the rings when the album is open, which many scrapbookers
find objectionable after they've worked hard to design and create coordinated
two-page spreads. We also find that over time the clamps of most 3 ring
albums separate, allowing pages to slip out.
albums may also be familiar if you ever had to put together a formal report
in school or a special report project for a marketing or sales task. Strap-hinge
albums have plastic straps that are affixed to the album cover that are
threaded through the pages and inserted into a clamping device (often
just metal loops that, unfortunately, are not always very robust and can
be pulled out if you pull on the straps a bit to vigorously). One major
benefit of strap-bound albums is that they allow adjacent pages to lie
flat without the hinge being seen.
albums hold the cover and pages together by means of metal posts (usually
three) which are screwed together. You can unfasten the posts whenever
you wish to add, remove, or rearrange your pages but the process is a
bit more tedious than doing the same thing with a three-ring binder. If
you have need, expansion posts can be added so you can add more pages
to the album, but in general a post-bound album will not have the save
page capacity as a 3-ring album. Post-bound albums usually come complete
with blank cardstock pages and plastic page protectors. To save on overall
album thickness you can certainly remove the blank cardstock pages when
you slide your own page layouts into the page protectors. There are two
reasons why post-bound albums dominate the market. First, a completed
album appears to be permanently bound. In contrast, a three-ring bound
album appears to many people to look "temporary" or "unfinished." Also,
in contrast to a three-ring bound album, the finished adjacent pages lay
right next to each other. For most projects, our design team prefers to
use post-bound albums.
provides these instructions for adding pages to a post-bound album.
We've included this tutorial here to show how a post-bound album
works, and how easy it is to add or re-arrange pages in a post-bound
your albums with these side loading, double-sided, clear, acid-free
and archival safe sheet protectors. Available in convenient 10 packs,
with duo-pocket" and reinforced corners. Includes 10 spine
spacers and three post extenders. Check the list of EK Success albums
for which albums these protectors will fit.
these 6 steps (refer to pictures) to expand your album with additional
"1. Lift inner flap, unscrew and remove top of posts.
"2. Remove front album cover, page protectors, spacers and
"3. Screw in post extenders.
"4. Insert extended spine cover, with wrong side facing up,
onto posts. Alternate pages and spine spacers onto posts.
"5. Fold extended spine cover over and place through posts.
"6. Finish by replacing front album cover and screwing tops
of posts back on."
All three images ©EK Success, 2008.
vary greatly in design, materials, and theme. Some are very elegantly
covered in rich leather or luxurious cloth. Some are much more inexpensively
produced with vinyl and plastic. The differences in texture and appearance
cover a wide range and can serve many different purposes. For example,
a leather-bound album has a very rich, elegant appearance that may be
perfect for a family tree album. A brightly-colored tropical print cloth-covered
album may be the best choice for scrapbooking a vacation to Hawaii or
that we carry at Mouse Memories are designed around a specific theme or
character. For example, we have fabulous albums that feature Mickey Mouse,
the rest of the fab five, the Disney Princesses, and Tinker Bell. Other,
non-Disney albums include Spiderman, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Dora
the Explorer. Sports-themed albums are very popular, too, and include
baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, hockey, cheerleading,
This Fast Pitch Softball 12" x 12" Album, by MBI, is one example
of a great themed album.
When it comes
to albums there really isn't much that you can do wrong. About the only
thing we would caution you to avoid is the tendency to "over stuff" an
album. Albums can handle a certain thickness of pages, and are even designed
in most cases to be expandable to handle more, but there is a limit. Besides
the possible damage that may result to the album itself, should it be
over stuffed, the greater concern is the possible damage that can be done
to your scrapbook pages if they are crushed. For very flat page designs,
of course, there wouldn't be any damage. For page designs that include
dimensional elements, however, an overly-tight album can cause some damage
over time. Albums, when not being viewed, should be stored upright on
a shelf like a library book would be. That will help protect the album,
its binding, and the pages inside so they can be enjoyed for years to
come! That, afterall, is the primary goal of scrapbooking!
In the next
article, we'll give you a glimpse of some newer non-traditional scrapbooking
projects that you can do, including acrylic and chipboard albums, picture
frames, and lots more! Until then, enjoy Christmas and New Years with
your families - and take lots of pictures!!!